In the buttered pearl potatoes post, I mentioned that we hosted a small lunch party at home over the weekend. My cousins came over, they brought food, I cooked food, we ate, we chatted, some went swimming at the clubhouse… We had a good time. Despite the terrible heat.
This chickpeas soup was another thing that I prepared last Sunday. Per Sam’s request. Actually, Sam practically ordered the menu last Sunday — lamb chops, chickpeas soup, chicken with bow tie pasta salad…
The salad didn’t materialize. The blog went offline because the server overloaded and I had three different things cooking while I worked to install some things to comply with the webhosting company’s requirements. Traffic has tripled over the past two weeks, I don’t know why, I should be thankful and appreciative, and I am, but I was quite unprepared for the effect of the traffic surge on the server. Let me just say that the things that needed to be installed to stabilize the server have been installed, the server has been stable for the past 24 hours and I hope it stays that way.
Oh, I’m digressing. I was saying something about why the bow tie pasta salad never materialized. I was working furiously while cooking. If you could have seen how I looked, well, it was almost cartoonish with my hair piled on top of my head shiny with hair dye. Yeah, I was cooking, working on the blog and dying my hair all at the same time. And I survived it.
The sad part is that I didn’t have as much time as I needed to simmer the chickpeas longer. If they had simmered in the broth longer, the soup would have been smoother and silkier. It still turned out well although it could have been three times better.
While I usually add potatoes to thicken my vegetable soup, no potatoes were necessary in this case. Chickpeas, or garbanzos, contain a lot of starch too and, when cooked long enough, they release the starch into the broth so that when the mushy chickpeas are pureed, the soup becomes nice and thick.
Chickpeas (garbanzos) soup
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup chopped onions
- 3 cans of white chickpeas (about 4 cups after draining), rinsed and drained
- 8 to 10 cups good chicken broth (preferably homemade), depending on how thick you want your soup
- 1 tablespoon thyme chopped
- 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 cup cream (optional)
- Heat the butter in a pot.
- Add the chopped onions and cook gently until softened, about seven minutes.
- Add the drained chickpeas to the pot.
- Pour in the broth.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for about an hour.
- Scoop out the chickpeas and transfer to the blender or food processor (keep the stove on). Add enough broth to make pureeing easier. Process the chickpeas until smooth.
- Pour the pureed chickpeas back into the pot. Stir. Add the parsley and thyme. Add more salt and pepper, if needed. Simmer gently for another 10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat. Stir in the cream, if using.
- Serve the chickpeas (garbanzos) soup hot.
Adding cream makes the soup tastier and I’d add cream under ordinary circumstances but my mother and my aunt are both hypertensive so I omitted the cream altogether.